What You May Have Missed from This Batshit Week in Politics

Trying to follow Republicans' many forays into fascism this week was like drinking from a firehose. Allow me to provide the CliffsNotes.

What You May Have Missed from This Batshit Week in Politics
Left to right: Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson (R), Tennessee State Troopers block gun control protestors at state house, Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) Photo:Center: Getty Images; Left and right: Associated Press (AP)

Hello from the tail end of another comically bad week in American politics, where we on the fascist clown beat were forced to choose roughly one out of every five batshit things to cover as the news relentlessly pelted us in the face.

While there were some bright spots, like Wisconsin’s state supreme court moving to liberal control for the first time in 15 years and Michigan officially repealing its zombie 1931 abortion ban, it’s hard to avoid the obvious signs that social progress in the United States overall appears to be backsliding.

For those who practice self-care by occasionally tuning out (good for you!), here are the CliffsNotes:

Just one week after a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school that killed six, Tennessee Republicans voted to expel two young Black Democratic lawmakers who’d joined gun control demonstrations in the statehouse but gave a pass to their older white woman colleague who did the same. The lawmakers’ righteous fury—as student protesters chanted “Fuck you, fascists!” at the Republicans—was truly something to behold.

Even the woman whose job Republicans saved, Rep. Gloria Johnson, called out the overt racism on display, telling reporters the difference in vote outcomes “might have to do with the color of our skin.”

And while all eyes were on Tennessee, politicians managed to do a whole lot of other terrible things under the radar. Here is a selection of the headlines by us and others:

And a few Democrats managed to suck pretty badly, too. North Carolina Rep. Tricia Cotham actually switched parties to give Republicans a veto-proof majority with which they could ban abortion, despite representing a very liberal district in the state. And President Biden’s administration proposed a Title IX regulation that says schools can ban transgender athletes from “competitive” sports teams in a complete reversal from the position he took on the first day of his presidency. It is subject to public comment—and there will no doubt be campaigns to submit comments—but no guarantee the White House will change the proposal!

At least one idiot pundit declared that this move was because “Joe Biden is trying to win re-election,” and citing one (1) poll. Please, show me a critical mass of voters who would’ve cast a 2024 ballot for someone other than Joe Biden—or stayed home on Election Day—solely because the president wouldn’t let schools ban trans athletes.

I wrote these words a month ago, and I’d like to emphasize them again:

I don’t know what to say other than these are sad, pathetic people weaponizing white Christian grievance to accumulate their own power with no concern for who is harmed in the process. Fascists and authoritarians get off on being described as such, but these moves are coming from an inherent place of weakness. Republicans know their actual policy ideas for things like social programs, healthcare, and taxes are so unpopular that they have to whip up a frenzy about Americans’ private lives and twist themselves into a pretzel to justify censorship in the name of freedom.

To all of it I say: Fuck off.

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